Sunday, January 15, 2012

The Schizoid Man

**** (4 stars out of 5)

"When I stroke the beard thusly... do I not appear more intellectual?"
Data briefly makes a change in facial hair for justice, but soon bigger changes are in the offing.

Ira Graves (the stupendous W. Morgan Sheppard) is arguably the finest mind in the Federation. His work in cybernetics either inspired Noonien Soong, or Graves claims it was so. Either way, the crotchety misogynist asks Data to call him Grampa.

Vulcan Dr. Selar (the incomparable Suzie Plakson) diagnoses the disagreeable Dr. Graves with deadly final stage Darnell's Disease. Perhaps he caught it from the Crab Shack in Camden County? No, I shouldn't joke, he's really about to die.

"Stories often have happy endings. It's life that throws you for a loop." Graves also notices how Grandchild Data isn't likely to pass beyond this vale of tears. Plus Graves seems to be pondering whether Data's brain might just be re-recordable...

Finally, Data is just slightly too trusting with his off-button once again.

Graves' assistant Kareen Briannon becomes the target of Data's affection very suddenly after Ira's death. Data also gives a disturbingly gushing eulogy for Graves before they consign his coffin to space.

Hopefully off the shipping lanes. Doesn't that seem like a hazard? Did they do this for Tasha last year? How many ships every year hit coffins and explode, anyway? I'm just saying there must be a less elaborate and potentially deadly way to explore the concept of irony.

Data's also scoping out the ladies' bottoms and whistling 'If I Only Had a Brain'. When Picard shows Kareen attention, Data's jealousy is loud enough for Troi to sense it.

Data claims to be fine, but Picard has La Forge examine him with a hula hoop made of lightning!
Then Troi gives him the once over with a pair of iPod shuffles stuck to his forehead.
Data has an unstable dominant personality destroying the Data they know. Who could it be?

"I wil create an android body for you, too. We can witness the end of time together." says Graves to Kareen through Data's teeth.

She is less than ecstatic. "I won't let you put me in a machine. I want to live my life."

Miss Briannon is the first hurt, with a broken hand, then soon La Forge, his fellow engineers, and Picard are clobbered. Finally, guilt compels "The Schizoid Man" to leave Data's body. His knowledge is stored in the main computer.

First Moriarty, now Graves. How much storage space do they have allotted for super-villains, anyway?

I hope we see more of that gorgeous Dr. Selar. Rrowr!

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